Recent Progress in Assessing the Readiness and Sustainability of Combat Forces

by Michael D. Rich, Irv K. Cohen, Raymond A. Pyles

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This report is based on testimony given by Michael Rich to the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Readiness in February 1986. It traces the evolution of RAND research on an important defense management problem: How to increase the capability of combat forces by improving the ability of combat commanders, resource managers, and planners to assess readiness and sustainability and to take appropriate action to strengthen both. The report describes the general challenge of assessing readiness and sustainability, discusses the present state of the art and its evolution, and finally, considers what the future holds. It also reflects a view that readiness and sustainability assessment is now a required and increasingly important element of day-to-day combat force operations, support system management, and planning for future forces and operations.

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